European Union wants to enhance dialogue with AL: EU's Borrell

Habiba Hamdy , Sunday 18 Jun 2023

The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell announced on Sunday that the EU aims to enhance its engagement and dialogue with the Arab League (AL) during a press conference with the AL's Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in Egypt.

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European Union s (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (left) and Secretary-General of the Arab League (AL) and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Egypt Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

 

The press conference took place in Egypt after the meeting with the secretary-general.

"The AL is a very important partner to the EU," Borrell affirmed, citing previous cooperation in the fields of counterterrorism, nonproliferation, human rights, and the Middle Eastern peace processes mentioning the ministerial meetings that both parties participated in.

Borrell arrived in Egypt on Saturday with the aim of reviewing and strengthening the partnership between the EU and Egypt.

He is scheduled to meet with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry. 

On his Twitter account, Borrell also highlighted the EU-Egypt strategic relation saying that "Egypt is a key partner of the EU and our partnership is strong."

 

Postponement of EU-League of Arab States' Ministerial Meeting
 

Borrell expressed regret that the last meeting took place in 2019 and that the upcoming one, which was scheduled for this month, had to be postponed at the EU's request due to the readmission of Syria to the AL.

"The readmission of Syria is a sovereign decision and we respect it," Borell asserted.

However, he added that the Syrian regime made no efforts to alleviate the conflict despite its readmission.

"The Syrian regime will not change until they make progress in line with the United Nations security conflict resolution 2254 that had called for a ceasefire and political settlement in the country in late 2015. Yet, the EU is keenly interested to maintain ties with the AL, specifically its committee on Syria," he concluded.

Regional issues
 

"We also discussed the comprehensive regional peace approach to the Middle East peace process," the high representative said citing cooperation with the AL and Saudi Arabia with the intention to take "concrete steps."

He continued by stating that the EU welcomed the renewal of the 72-hour ceasefire in Sudan, which became effective on Sunday, as well as the resumption of talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Borrell also addressed the Russian-Ukrainian war, noting that while Ukrainians are the most affected by the conflict, Middle Eastern countries have also suffered greatly in terms of food security.

"The EU has been at the forefront of the global efforts to address food and security," adding that the union is working towards exporting 30 million tons of Ukrainian grain.

Borrell concluded by reiterating the EU's desire to enhance cooperation with the AL for the mutual benefit of their people.

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